My regular readers will have noticed by now that the look of The Urban Dr. Mom has changed. I hope, for the better. I felt a change was needed. I wanted to brighten up the look of my blog. I hope you all enjoy it.
Well, as of about 20 minutes ago, I survived my first week back to work.
I’m relieved to have it over and done with. My favorite part of being back is knowing how much I was missed. Ha! Seriously though, I love showing off pictures of my brood and catching up on the lives of my patients.
I won’t lie, I’ve been pretty tired. Thankfully the baby is giving us a solid 7-8 hours of sleep after midnight, so that has been super helpful.
I also managed to run home from the office the other night. I think I am over the hump of my injuries (more on that in another post), and I can’t tell you how amazing that feels. To run for almost 5km and not have any significant pain?! O-M-G! Talk about a little slice of heaven!
This isn’t just the last day of March, it’s also the last day of maternity leave.
I return to work tomorrow.
April Fools Day!!!
As I write this, the baby is in the exersaucer desperately trying to talk to me. I wish I knew what he was trying to say.
I try not to think about it, but I realize just how much I’m going to miss him. It’s time for daddy to take over his full-time care. I wonder if he’ll miss me? Will he wonder where I went? I felt this way with all the kids but with this baby, it’s more poignant. Because he is my last. I know this.
The last six months have been truly a blessing. To be home with my entire family has been wonderfully exhausting, yet I am really looking forward to being a doctor again. I know I never really stopped being one, it’s who I am and who I will always be. Just like being a mother is who I am and will always be – it’s just that the mother had center stage for so long, it seems. But, now it’s time to be a doctor again.
Last night I had a lovely dinner meeting with the doctor who’s been taking care of my patients. We had a “handover” of sorts.
Handover – A handover is the transfer of responsibility and accountability for some or all aspects of care for a patient or group of patients, on a temporary or permanent basis. It entails appropriately transferring information to help deliver safe care. (CMPA)
I had been keeping up-to-date on a few patients since I was off, but not many. Our three-hour meeting was informative and extremely useful. This physician has done an excellent job and a quick peek at some of her clinical notes on the EMR confirmed it. I am officially back on duty as of, well, now.
I have to admit, I feel a little apprehensive. I am used to this feeling – I’ve had it every single time I returned to work after an extended leave like this. Am I going to remember how to write a clinical note? Will I remember how to take an appropriate, concise but detailed history? Thankfully in the past, after the first few hours back, it generally feels like I never left. I certainly hope this is the case next week.
Another variable thrown into the mix is my 6 month old son. When I returned to work after the previous two maternity leaves, the kids had been sleeping through the night for at least a month. (How did I get so lucky? Third time’s the charm, right? Right?!) Sadly, no. He’s not quite sleeping through the night yet. He still wakes at least once, usually between 11pm – 2 am. Husband has been wonderful and doing these feeds more often, but I still wake up. I am still tired during the day. I worry how I’m going to function now that I have to actually use my brain again.
Despite the fatigue and the apprehension, I am ready to get back to my work.
My 6 month old just got his vaccine yesterday. He weighed in at a whopping 18 lbs 6.5 oz. Two months ago he was just under 14 lbs. Talk about weight gain!!
Ah, the marvels of formula.
Pediatrician noted the huge jump in weight and asked what changed. I explained the transition to formula and then the next question was about his sleep. He has been still consistently getting up around 2-3am and then again at 5-6am. This is after going to sleep around 6pm, sleeping for 5-6 hours, then waking for a feed before husband and I turn in for the night. He is also now consistently taking solids (mainly just a mixed cereal now). She suggested that the 2-3am wake up probably isn’t related to hunger and we should try to let him cry it out. Alternatively, we could try the dream feed.
I’d heard about this dream feed from a friend of mine several years ago, but never needed it for the first two kids. Both had started sleeping through the night well before I returned to work (the first at 4 months of age, the second at 5 months of age). With less than two weeks to go, I really need this little man to start sleeping longer.
So, last night, I woke him up at 10:30pm and he drank 4-5 oz of formula. He fell back asleep pretty quickly after that, (and so did I), and didn’t wake again until 5am.
Fingers crossed this keeps up for the next 13 sleeps.
Hard to believe. Time has gone by exceedingly fast this time around. I’m excited to return to work and a little sad. I really have enjoyed every minute that I’ve been home with everyone. But it’s time to start earning some real money again. It’s time to be a doctor again. Life has to get back to the new normal.
The baby is going to be six months old on the weekend. He’s finally starting to take some cereal (okay, so it’s only been two days), but he’s still getting up at least once, if not twice a night. I am really hoping for a miracle over the next few weeks – I need this baby to sleep through the night. Sure, husband will be doing the night feedings once I start back to work, but let’s be honest, baby wakes up so I wake up. Fuzzy brain does not a good doctor make.
In the meantime, I am going to take advantage of the next few weeks I have left. I’ve already done a huge purge of my closet – clothes I haven’t worn in years, since before my first pregnancy, have gone to Goodwill. I am starting to go online to the electronic medical record more often to read up on patients. I am reading more medical related stuff. I am mentally preparing for work.
I am on the mend. After my physiotherapy appointment earlier in the week, I managed to get in two back-to-back runs and one “long” run today. The first two runs were 3k and 4k, respectively. Today’s “long” run was 5.25km. I put long in quotations because it’s hardly what marathon runners would consider their long run, but for this gal, it was a long run. It felt like a long run.
It’s amazing how fast my endurance decreased after not running for 8 days. It’s getting better, slowly but surely. And so is the Achilles tendon. I have been doing my heel raises religiously and icing it after my runs. I can still feel that it’s irritated, but much less so than a week ago.
It feels great to be getting back to work on my 10k goal. Sadly though, I don’t think it’ll happen before April 1. If I push for it, I will likely get injured again. So for now, I am not setting the goal but will just take it one run at a time and see how I do.
I see my running as fulfilling two goals. One is to get physically fit; the other is to stay mentally fit. Maternity leave has left my brain a bit mushy. Mostly from the lack of sleep but also from the fact that I haven’t really thought about medicine in the past five months. It’s been a good mental break but the time has come to exercise my brain.
But first I must rid myself of this awful migraine. This is one of my favorite photos depicting what its like to suffer from migraine headaches.
I was supposed to be going back to work next week. (Looks around to see if anyone is listening). I kinda wish I was.
I’m bored. I had a feeling this might happen. Baby is fully weaned, enjoying his formula and waking up usually only once a night now. He’s not taking solids all that great but we are getting there.
The weather sucks. I’m not usually to complain about our climate but this has been a particularly long winter. At least it feels that way. I don’t even mind the snow, but the bitter, bitter cold makes it very difficult to go out for walks with the kids.
I haven’t run in a week. My ankle is still sore. I finally got on the exercise bike last night for 45 minutes and worked up a sweat and that felt good. But I miss running. I miss the freedom. I miss that 30-40 minutes of solely me-time.
And that makes me feel guilty. In five weeks I’ll be working 4 days a week and leaving husband with 3 kids. I’ll have all day to be with adults, to be “on my own” and to miss the kids. Yet right at this very moment, I wish I was going back to work next week.
My brain, like my body after not running for a week, feels like mush. I have a stack of New England Journal of Medicine magazines that I need to start reading, but I can’t focus for more than a few minutes without a child demanding juice, or a snack, or a diaper change. I honestly don’t know how parents do this day-in and day-out. I don’t know how my husband does it. I’ve been home for 5 months and I’m starting to go crazy. I knew this would happen but it felt too soon to go back to work in March. Now April feels a million miles away.
Even as I write this the guilt is overflowing – the older kids are watching Sleeping Beauty and the baby is jumping jolly. Lazy parenting at its best.
It’s been a rough weekend, I can’t lie. I have been plagued with migraine headaches for the past 5 days. I have taken more Advil, Tylenol and Axert in the last 5 days than I have in the last 5 months. Brutal. It’s gotten me down too. I hate having the ice pack on my head so much that my kids now ask me if I have a headache again. I don’t want their early memories of mommy being plagued by migraines.
Yet, during one of the reprieves I managed a 6.6km run, so I guess it wasn’t that bad of a weekend. But the headache that ensued a few hours later was brutal and made me wish I hadn’t gone out when I was feeling better.
My girlfriend made me an aromatherapy rub a few months ago which I forgot about until this weekend. My tummy felt icky after all the drugs I took so I decided to try the rub. Oh my. It was amazing. I’m not sure what was in it but it left a paradoxical cooling heat on my forehead that took the pain away for a good half hour. Those 30 minutes were a nice taste of heaven.
I can’t help but wonder what’s caused this sudden increase in migraine frequency. I suspect it’s a change in my hormones. The baby is all but weaned. I might nurse him once a day now. I’m finding it much more difficult to let it go this time. Part of me wants to keep nursing him because I’m never going to be able to do it again once we are done. But on the other hand my vanity sets in and I really want to see the last 10 lbs gone (the sooner the better) and I like to think that it’ll fall off once I stop nursing for good. I wish it wasn’t so hard. I’ve really enjoyed the nursing relationship we’ve had but I know it’s time to wrap things up. He is taking his formula really well and starting to eat some rice cereal but not as often as I’d like. And I am back to work in 6 weeks.
A lot of people hate the month of January. I can understand why. It’s the month after Christmas, the VISA bill hurts, and the reality of winter sets in. For me, the first month of 2014 was pretty darn good.
I set out to blog daily and I did it.
I exercised daily, in one form or another.
I cut out desserts after dinner and lost close to 10 lbs.
I tried to run 3 times a week – the only thing that stopped me was bitterly cold temperatures and snow.
The month ended with me running three days in a row – yes, you read that right. I went for another run today. It was short, only 3.22 km for 26 minutes (10:1s). I ran a total of 44.4 km this month. What a great start to the year. I feel great.
Another milestone this month was introducing the baby to solid food and formula. In the past week he has started eating rice cereal twice a day, and in addition to some formula, last night was the first time he woke up only once. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, folks!! I’ll be weaning the baby over the next few weeks, I am close to being done with nursing. I need to get some good sleep for at least a month before I go back to work on April 1st.
I’d like to thank all of my readers and followers for sticking with me during this self-imposed daily posting month. I am having crazy thoughts about doing it again for February!